25,950m 2:00:00 (NOMAN Ibiza-Barcelona, row session 8)
*31 days until the race*
Pace: 2:18.7/500m average
I rowed at a very consistent pace on this one and took my allotted 3 minute breaks after 30, 60 and 90 minutes which is a first as I usually take between one and two minutes – the extra time to be able to stand for a moment and adjust my position in the seat really helped to deal with the strain mentally after the first hours. At the end of the 30, 60 and 90 minute intervals I put in 5 minutes of faster rowing.
I struggled a fair bit with the final interval but that’s because I picked up the pace a bit earlier as I was trying to chase 26,000m – with about ten minutes to go I was beginning to feel a bit sick but I kept on pushing anyway! 50 metres short isn’t so bad considering I was originally rowing for 25,600.
It took me 20 minutes to get into a groove today and I’d say my second interval felt best of them all both physically and mentally – I wasn’t really present in the gym or on the machine, I was definitely day dreaming about the Mediterranean and enjoy Sven Vaeth’s ‘Sound of the Ninth Season’! I felt like I was falling apart for the first fifteen minutes of the third interval, I was becoming agitated and fidgeting in my seat a fair amount and I stopped twice to take on water so I was surprised to see it wasn’t the worst in terms of distance covered.
The final interval made me push myself. It was uncomfortable, unrelenting and I worked hard for every metre as I chased 26,000m! As I’ve said before in my training posts, the pain is bearable and it’s worth it because I know that I can take a break if I want to. I can just stop rowing, take some water and stand up for a short while and feel refreshed.
Being able to stop when the pain becomes a little too much is a privilege because people suffering from HPV related cancers don’t have the option to take a break from their pain and suffering and they certainly didn’t choose to put themselves through it. This thought is never far from my mind and it helps me to push on through, grit my teeth and keep on rowing – let’s not forget this race is all about raising awareness about the HPV vaccine that, if administered globally and universally, would put an end to 5% of all cancers that are directly caused by the Human Papillomavirus. By raising the profile of the vaccine and highlighting the long term health and cost benefits to governments worldwide we can stop the unnecessary suffering of future generations so please, before you click away from here do think about donating even £5, $5, ¥5…any amount in whichever denomination you are currently using, it all helps! This is a global campaign, a global cause and noble one too.